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Author Topic: Using Comfortis for Flea Control  (Read 13683 times)

Offline Peter Christensen

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Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« on: January 05, 2011, 05:22:49 PM »
While I would like to keep the topic on Comfortis and suggest you post suggestions for other products under appropriate topic headings, I feel that I should begin by explaining why I am trying a new flea control product.

I used a topical product (Frontline Plus) for years and hated every minute of it. I hated putting the oily poison on top of my dog where it could spread onto everything in my home, including me. And the concern grew when I got a second dog that could ingest the poison. I suppose that if you had a dog with a thick coat of hair, you could part the hair and hide the poison on the skin deep down inside. But with a short-cut mini, it just runs all over the place.

But the straw that broke the camel's back was when we got fleas, though there are two possible reasons this happened:

  • I was using the product only every third month during the winter months. A vet had told me that it lasted three months, even though the product specs say one month. I found the fleas at about 2-1/2 months.

  • I wash my dogs once a week, which should be okay for a month. But it would seem it's not okay for 2-1/2 months.

I don't know of any forum members using Comfortis at this time, but I thought I'd post this just to share my thought process, thinking it through as I write. I do know we have many members who, like me, hate using the messy topicals.

I ordered Comfortis for a larger size dog so that I can split the tablets between my two dogs. Comfortis tells you not to do this, because the med may not be distributed evenly throughout the tablet. Doing so will certainly void any product warranties, so I'm not suggesting it for others.

However, I assume they say this for marketing purposes. They certainly don't put the meds into each tablet individually; they mix a batch just as you do when you are making cookies. Granted, you can get more chocolate chips in one cookie than another, however if they didn't mix the "batter" extremely well then they couldn't be sure that any one tablet had the right amount of meds.

I made the chart below to help me figure out a proper dosage for my dogs. As you can see, for most of the tablet sizes a dog at the high end of the weight range will get very close to the recommended dosage of 13.5 ml/lb. On the other hand, a dog at the low end of the weight range will get about double the recommended dosage. This tells me that a little more than the minimum recommended dosage shouldn't be harmful. Still, I want to use as close to the recommended dosage as I can guesstimate as I divide the tablet.

As you can see from the bottom of the chart, if I just split the tablet evenly Muka would get about 3.0 extra gm, and Pukalu about 6.5 extra. So after splitting the tablet, I'll take off a little less than a fifth from Muka's half and little less than a third from Pukalu's half.

Giving your dogs flea meds each month shouldn't need to be rocket science, but when I saw that a dog at the low end of the weight range would get twice the dosage as one at the high end, I thought it was worth taking a second look. I don't like putting poison in my dog in the first place, even if it is only supposed to kill the fleas.

Product Specs:  http://elms.xh1.lilly.com/comfortis-product-label.pdf



Note:  Vomiting is not common, but it is the most common side effect. So after giving them their first dose with dinner and a little water, I kept them at my side for an hour. If one had vomited, it would have been important to know which one. And to ensure that the other didn't eat the vomit. They seemed fine.

Caution:  I received delivery of my Comfortis at the same time I received delivery of my annual supply of heartworm meds that I use May through October. The spec sheet for Comfortis warned of possible toxicity if you use a strong dose of the heartworm meds. I spoke to the pharmacist, and he said that a high dose would be using the dose for a dog at the low end of the weight range for the dose. So my chart made some sense after all!

Anyway, I don't like the idea of using both of these meds together so I'll speak to my vet about this before beginning with the heartworm meds in May.

Peter
Mukaluka Dirtypaws, male black Miniature Schnauzer, 11/09/07, 15-1/8", 17.0 lb (goal) [medical]
Pukalu, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, 03/27/10, 15", 15.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Also: About Peter ~ Our Therapy Dog Work ~ Our Tricks Video ~ Muka's Scrapbook

Offline Hannah

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Re: Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2011, 10:20:53 PM »
Being new to having a dog, we didn't really know what to use so we just used the same product that the previous owners had used (Prac-tic, I don't know if you can get it over there). It's a topical one, and we applied it last week. Messy alright! But I just did a Google search for "Comfortis" and refined the search results to NZ only, to see if it's available here. It is, but I thought it was quite expensive! The price varied according to the size of the dog, but was about $NZ60+ ($US45+) for 6 tablets. I guess that's not really any more than $40 for 4 tubes of the topical stuff ... We still have 4 applications of the topical one left but I might consider trying Comfortis when those are gone. It would be great to avoid the mess!
Buddy, S&P mini ~ 3 years old ~ 13 July 2007
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Offline Peter Christensen

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Re: Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2011, 08:07:51 AM »
Hannah,

As with many drugs made for people, a larger dose doesn't cost much more than a smaller one. This is of course why I bought a larger dose to split between my two dogs.

I could buy even a larger dose and save more money, but I worry that once the seal is opened on the individual tablet it might go bad waiting to use it in future months. Plus it would get too confusing.

Turns out that when you split the tablets they fracture a bit near the split. So it's not possible to be really accurate.

I made sure to take off under 1/5 of Muka's half, and under 1/3 of Pukalu's. So I was able to reduce the meds a little, but still be sure I didn't give them less than the minimum recommended dosage.

Peter
Mukaluka Dirtypaws, male black Miniature Schnauzer, 11/09/07, 15-1/8", 17.0 lb (goal) [medical]
Pukalu, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, 03/27/10, 15", 15.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Also: About Peter ~ Our Therapy Dog Work ~ Our Tricks Video ~ Muka's Scrapbook

Offline Lara

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Re: Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2011, 11:51:10 AM »
We've been using Comfortis and it really seems to work well.  No fleas here!  :thumbsup:

I also didn't want to have to mess with a liquid. It's a little more expensive but worth it in my opinion.  I wouldn't have thought to split the doses between two dogs,  good thinking Peter!
Jack 7yo Rescued S&P Mini

Offline Harriet

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Re: Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2011, 07:41:49 AM »
I started Ms. P P on Comfortis in Dec.  and no reaction from her to the new Flea Control.   Sure is nice not to have that "MESS" on her back and on my hands when I pet her.   I have to go today and get her second dose...   I paid $18 per pill,  but will check and see how much multiples will cost.......

  We are having such a crazy winter here that I guess I will keep giving it to her during this winter.   Like Peter said we are suppose to get (maybe) snow today, then freezing rain,  then rain and highs in the 50's.............  Thanks goodness no ICE.........

Harriet & Pitty Pat
Pitty Pat aka Raven  02-14-2009 14 lb
In memory:  Star 2001 to 2009

Offline Peter Christensen

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Re: Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2011, 08:04:03 AM »
I got mine from Doctors Foster and Smith, on-line, though I was in a rush and didn't shop around for the best price. I paid $90 for six, or $15 each, with free shipping.

However, that was for a larger size and I split them (not something most would want to mess with) so the actual cost was only $7.50 each.

Peter

P.S.

My vet also charges $6 for a prescription (for a 12 months supply), which I think is most reasonable since their prices are so low.
Mukaluka Dirtypaws, male black Miniature Schnauzer, 11/09/07, 15-1/8", 17.0 lb (goal) [medical]
Pukalu, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, 03/27/10, 15", 15.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Also: About Peter ~ Our Therapy Dog Work ~ Our Tricks Video ~ Muka's Scrapbook

Offline Angela

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Re: Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2011, 09:27:26 AM »
Lotte's back on Comfortis, and I'm happy about that. The pesky flea problem has finally been kicked (spot-on was not working!).
Do the prices very by region? My vet charges me $14 for a single dose.
Lotte, 2 year old s&p mini DOB: 2/4/2010
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Offline Harriet

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Re: Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2011, 06:15:55 AM »
Went and got Ms. P P's 6 months supply at my vets and paid $100, including almost $8 for TAX..............  One of the Vet Tech's there said in our area, we should do flea control year round.  We don't have the constant below freezing weather to discontinue during the winter........she also said fleas are everywhere and can get in even when we open a door when it is cold......

Harriet
Pitty Pat aka Raven  02-14-2009 14 lb
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Offline Peter Christensen

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Re: Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2011, 09:40:33 AM »
I agree with that, Harriet. When we got fleas I hadn't given them a Frontline Plus application for 10 weeks because it was wintertime. I will not give them Comfortis monthly.

Peter
Mukaluka Dirtypaws, male black Miniature Schnauzer, 11/09/07, 15-1/8", 17.0 lb (goal) [medical]
Pukalu, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, 03/27/10, 15", 15.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Also: About Peter ~ Our Therapy Dog Work ~ Our Tricks Video ~ Muka's Scrapbook

Offline Linda

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Re: Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2011, 08:01:51 PM »
I called my vet's office yesterday, to find out wether she recommended the oral meds, and I got her tech, who said they did not recommend it since, for it to work, the fleas have to bite the dog. 

I told her I was concerned about the topical treatments, since the dogs are wrestling most of the day, which worries me, since they are probably ingesting it from each other's backs...

She didn't seem too concerned about this.  I think I will call back, and ask to talk to the Doc.
Chibi Maru: S&P Female, 04 Dec 03
Sir Sachi Minuets: Black Male, 11 Feb 06
Serenete: S&P Female, 03 May 07
Monty: Black Schnoodle Male "Pound Puppy,"Apr 07 (?)
Loup Garou: S&P Male, 08 Feb 10
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Offline Peter Christensen

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Re: Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2011, 09:19:20 PM »
I called my vet's office yesterday, to find out wether she recommended the oral meds, and I got her tech, who said they did not recommend it since, for it to work, the fleas have to bite the dog.

That makes sense, but then I wonder how quickly the topicals kill a flea. For the topical to be better in this regard, it would have to typically be before the flea bites the dog with the topical!

I haven't spoken with too many fleas lately, but I'd guess that after one got on a dog it wouldn't wait too long!

 :wink:

Peter
Mukaluka Dirtypaws, male black Miniature Schnauzer, 11/09/07, 15-1/8", 17.0 lb (goal) [medical]
Pukalu, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, 03/27/10, 15", 15.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Also: About Peter ~ Our Therapy Dog Work ~ Our Tricks Video ~ Muka's Scrapbook

Offline Linda

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Re: Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2011, 11:07:14 PM »
Kind of my thought, as well...
Chibi Maru: S&P Female, 04 Dec 03
Sir Sachi Minuets: Black Male, 11 Feb 06
Serenete: S&P Female, 03 May 07
Monty: Black Schnoodle Male "Pound Puppy,"Apr 07 (?)
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Offline Michelle

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Re: Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2011, 09:44:22 AM »

That makes sense, but then I wonder how quickly the topicals kill a flea. For the topical to be better in this regard, it would have to typically be before the flea bites the dog with the topical!


This may be my memory failing me... but don't the topical flea meds claim to kill fleas in the environment, to some extent?
Rupert, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, born April 4, 2010
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Offline Debbie

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Re: Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2011, 04:17:39 PM »
I'm worried about the long range effect of these internal flea killing meds in our doggies. I'll have to do some more reading. Does anybody know? if after our dogs are taking these pills, is something going to crop up in years to come, are they going to cause any organ damage. I worry about this stuff.
The Dog is the God of Frolic
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Offline Peter Christensen

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Re: Using Comfortis for Flea Control
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2011, 05:39:48 PM »
Me too, but I worry about the external ones just as much.

I can only say that the vet I highly trust recommends using them. We talked about MY exposure to Frontline Plus once, and she talked about how harmless it is. Said she puts it on her dogs that sleep with her little boy.

Peter
Mukaluka Dirtypaws, male black Miniature Schnauzer, 11/09/07, 15-1/8", 17.0 lb (goal) [medical]
Pukalu, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, 03/27/10, 15", 15.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Also: About Peter ~ Our Therapy Dog Work ~ Our Tricks Video ~ Muka's Scrapbook